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The Gap Between Modern and Classic Titles

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This has been an idea that has been stirring around in my head for a while. As a gamer do you enjoy both modern and classic titles or were you unable to bridge the gap and favor one area over the other? I definitely fall into the latter category. I've always preferred the mechanical experimentation of older games like Deus Ex GOTY and Morrowind over games that have had to sacrifice variety for polish. For instance Deus Ex: Human Revolution was my first entry into the Deus Ex series but after playing Deus Ex GOTY I can definitely say I prefer Deus Ex GOTY over Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

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I'm more on the middle ground. It also depends on where you draw the line between modern and classic. Do you say PS1 era and earlier is classic, or everything before PS1? PS2 and up feels too modern. Like as much as I enjoy FF10 and 12, I enjoy 3-9 even more (I would put 1 and 2 on that list, but never beaten them, barely touched them). However, I enjoy GTA: SA and 5 more than VC and earlier. (GTA 4 is shit imo). I enjoy the first three Harry Potter games (especially on PC) more than the later ones. Again, I'd say I'm somewhere down the middle.

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IMO for PC games a game that's 10 years or older is an enjoyable classic, 15-20 year old games are playable but they tend to fade into the background for me and I find most 20-25 year old games to be unplayable. Now when it comes to console games my enjoyment threshold extends all the way to 25 year old games since I liked a lot of NES games but not any Atari 2600 games. I think this is due to consoles focusing on what made games playable first before PC. PC games would eventually reach enjoyable playability but not for another 10 years after consoles did. I also think this had something to do with PCs being viewed as business-oriented machines at the time. BTW don't credit this as any historic fact as I merely trying make sense as to why I don't like 20 year old PC games and why I don't like console games that are older than 25 years. I'm not a historian.

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My cut-off is the SNES era. I cannot enjoy even the most advanced NES games because of three things - the limited color palette, the knowledge of "what could've been" due to seeing new technology, and the limited storage size making games dependent on manuals rather than being a complete all-in-one experience. Even standout titles such as Super Mario Bros. 3 are superseded by the far improved SNES collection Super Mario All-Stars (Luigi had his own sprite!).

From that point on, everything is fair game. I even hacked my 3DS so I could play my old games on emulators, even though I'm not even close to trying out all of the DS and 3DS titles I've bought. When a new game proves disappointing I go back and play something old that I know that is good, because they make me feel the same way I did when I first played them after all this time.

And it doesn't matter if it's a 16 bit RPG about killing God or a PS2 RPG about killing God, or any Atlus RPG in general.

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For me it depends on my mood but I love to play pretty much everything regardless if it's old or new. As long as it's a good game and fun to play, it doesn't matter. I love everything from Commander Keen to Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.

 

Much like Heliocentral I'm not that big on Atari games or really early PC games, they get a bit too simple for my taste. I do like a lot of NES games though and I've played quite a share of Commodore 64 games.

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I certainly remember being much more invested in older games, but that probably had more to do with my age, my latter change of interests and the simple fact I had more time. Being a fan of the point n' click genre I'm very grateful for the number of variety of games of the last ten years or so that broadly fit within that category. Rarely do they achieve the stellar heights of Discworld or Broken Sword franchises, which has the peculiar effect of making those rare contemporary titles that square-up equally to those games all the more exciting. Those moments closely match the kind of enthusiastic feeling that I achieved as a youngster.

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Depending on if the game has aged well onto modern systems, and has a good story or mechanics I'll generally enjoy it regardless of its age.

 

I will say that there are a bunch of series that I did get tired of as they got newer, for various reasons.

 

Most of Nintendo's games other than The Legend of Zelda that are series I got tired of (Starfox I enjoyed as well, but they were very sparing in releasing those and the latest one looked like it belonged on the NES, not the fucking Wii:U so it looked like crap to me especially compared to the last they released regarding StarFox). I enjoyed Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door because it actually had good writing and gameplay, but none of the later ones interested me, in fact no Mario game after Super Mario Galaxy interested me. Smash was fun, but I really liked how they shook things up by giving Brawl a story (too bad Nintendo then took their ball and walked away afterwards because they got pissed all the cutscenes ended up on Youtube, so we're never going to see something so glorious again as long as Nintendo acts like children in regards to the internet). But yeah, I ended up selling my Wii because I just ended up playing more old Gamecube games than actual newly released Wii titles, and I got bored of them.

 

But as for other series I dropped since I was young: I stopped playing COD after Black Ops 1 and had skipped over a bunch up to that game already. The Big Red One was my favourite COD game and the campaign was what got me into the series.

 

Halo I stopped after #3, I felt that the ending was adequate and that it was a good place for me to stop while I still enjoyed it, and I'm glad I did.

 

Same went for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, it was a great game that expanded beautifully off of the gimmick in III, but I could already get the feeling by some elements of the writing that I was starting to get tired of it, so I dropped that series while I still enjoyed it as well, haven't played any past 4.

 

The new Fallout looked like crap to me outside of visuals whereas I ran into some very bad bugs with Fallout 1 that made me distasteful of it.

 

IDK. There's something of a balance I think a lot of series tend to lose the longer they go on. Early titles IMO tend to end up with a lot of bugs or unrefined and basic mechanics, whereas later and more modern games feel incredibly copy-pasty, and don't really feel as gripping or fresh as older titles. Immediate sequels of original games shortly afterwards tend to be the best the game series will ever likely to be IMO (unless its like Deus Ex, or Dungeon Seige with Ross, where the devs hit a home run and make an amazing game on the first try, then they usually end up like movies, where it becomes extremely difficult for any sequel to live up to the expectations of the previous title without being a carbon copy) because there you now know which mechanics can be refined and how to make the game well without coming across as repetitive. Unless you can then make the game even more interesting in both story and mechanics on top of that, it becomes harder to keep making better games of the same series (its especially difficult if the first game in the series was very good).

 

Some series IMO can get better over time while still having solid first releases, but those are few and far between, and usually are not long series. The Witcher series IMO is one of the few I can say where I genuinely think the games each got better off of each other in every respect. Visuals, story, gameplay, music, UI, you name it and I'll say it got better with each title release. And since The Witcher 3 ends Geralt's story (who knows what'll happen now with the franchise since CD Projeckt Red is stepping away from it for now to work on their Cyberpunk title), I'd call it a successful series from old to new.

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